A good start to a day always ensures you feel satisfied at the end.
I have a few routines which help me get organised and embark on a productive day.
Step 1: Don't check your mail the minute you sit down at your desk.
-Most of the time the day plans itself and you are just accommodated in it. This leaves you feeling overworked and irritated.So take control of it before the chaos begins. I always plan a day before I switch on my Laptop. Checking and answering mail is part of your job.Not your job for the entire day.
I start with a simple tool. Its simple and easy. A simple table.
My Day Planner tool:
This simple excel sheet helps plan a productive day.
I have 1 hour time capsules. Remember you can always Divide and conquer easily.
So create your time capsules and see the difference. That feeling of overwhelming panic on a busy day is gone. At the end of each hour I take a 5 min break(loo break, lipstick touch up etc. but most often I ensure I drink water and walk a bit)
Red-Super critical- cant be moved out of the time capsule.
Yellow-Important yet flexible but needs to be done on the same day.
Green: tasks with longer time lines attached that should be done if time permits.
** please note I have space for only 2 tasks for each type of tasks. Lets get real if something needs to be done and done well you need to focus an give it enough time and attention. Remember we need to strive for accuracy the first time so as to save time on doing corrections.
Also you need to keep buffer time for unexpected tasks that might come up that you need to fit into the capsules.
Step2: After Step 1 I turn on my Outlook. Now most people will open up their Outlook to go to the Inbox. An easy tip to see and admire how well planned you are is to use technology to your advantage. Use a feature called Outlook today. This is the summary of your mail related tasks, your calender if any thing was pre-planned (an appointment you got a week ago). Sync your smart phones.
Step3 : Inbox-Use the reading pane. Give the mails a glance over and decide which are the ones that need your immediate attention. Pop them out(I think you know what I mean) and finish answering and preparing any tasks attached to that mail. Important tip: Become a end-to -end tasker what that simply means finish what you start.
Step4. Mail done. Get back to Red Yellow and Greens.
Step5: Remember to take breaks at the end of each capsules.
Step6: Spillage-Some tasks might take more time than expected. So, don't worry the sheet has built in buffers. My actual work day ends at 6.30pm. But my tasks sheet has 1 hour of buffer time for these.
Most of the days you will get your free hour. That's not to catch up on Facebook. Finish your Green tasks before they escalate into Yellow or Red.
Step7-No. You don't have to work like a Robot. Catch up on your Social Media in the 5 min breaks.
Step8-Once your done spend 10 mins of the residual hour to see if any overspill from today needs attention tomorrow. Write them down on a post it and place at a visual place.
Step9-Most important. You planned your day to achieve productivity. Now that's all the time you should ideally give to your work. Just like its important to Come to the office on time, Its equally important to Leave on time.*
* once you have done justice to your job off course.
Remember: A balanced life means a healthy personal and professional life . Each getting equal and deserving attention. So plan to succeed in both.
Hope you found my routine useful